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Hepatitis and HIV CoinfectionHepatitis and HIV Coinfection
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GI doc?
Jan 7, 2012

I recently tested positive for hep c 1A with a viral load just above 5 million. I am HIV positive, undetectable for 14 years. My ID doctor reffered me to a GI doctor for an initial Hep c consultation. Does that make sense to you? I thought ID docs treated Hep c. I live in northwestern Ohio.

Response from Dr. McGovern

If your ID doctor is referring you to a GI doctor, that means that he or she does not feel expert in the area of HCV and that is fine. You will need to see if your GI doctor has experience in taking care of HIV patients.

There are a growing number of ID doctors who are taking care of HCV and I expect that number will increase in the future tremendously. In the US, I fully expect that testing for HCV will expand and there will be a need for more doctors to treat this infection. The reason to seek and test more people is that the treatment is getting so much better!

As for treatment, I would like to see you get into a clinical trial for HIV/HCV coinfection. If there is no trial available, the final results from two HIV/HCV treatment trials are due out later in 2012.

One trial uses triple therapy with pegylated interferon, ribavirin, and telaprevir...The other trial uses the PEG, Ribavirin and boceprevir. I am excited that the addition of these new drugs (HCV protease inhibitors) will lead to much higher treatment success in HIV infected patients. It is important to know that some drugs used for HIV may interact with some of the drugs so you will need to carefully review this before starting HCV treatment.

I will be having some blogs on trials later this month.

Best wishes for your liver health!

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